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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Land of A Thousand Hills

1. In Land of a Thousand Hills, Carr talks about her fifty-plus-year love affair with Africa. Did this begin from the moment she and her husband arrived in the Belgian Congo? How, if at all, did those feelings change once she was divorced and running a plantation on her own? How did Carr's background her experiences and perceptions prepare her for what she calls "a lifetime of adventure?"

2. Do you feel that Carr offers a thoughtful and insightful examination of Africa? Is she open and objective in her views? How does who she is an American living in a foreign country influence her judgment? Is her memoir a fair-minded portrait of a troubled land? Or does she view Africa and its people through the lens of her own personal experience?

3. Are Carr's descriptions evocative? Do they convey a dramatic immediacy that makes you feel as if you were there? Or is reading the book, as one reviewer describes, "like sitting down for a long chat with a good friend who's been away?"

4. For over six years, Carr has worked with Rwanda?s displaced and orphaned children in a shelter she created. How does this continuing act of charity underscore her continued devotion to her adopted country? How has she improved the lives of these children? In what ways has she enhanced her own life-a woman who never had children of her own?   

5. In more than half a century in Africa, Carr has had the most extraordinary experiences the kinds of life-changing events most women (and men) never know. How do you feel they helped to shape the woman she ultimately became?

6. Carr lived through many turning points and watershed moments in Africa's history: the collapse of colonialism; the wars for independence; the clashes between the Hutus and the Tutsis. How does she describe these pivotal events? Does she have a definitive point of view? Is she sympathetic to Africa's causes?

7. A reviewer has said that Carr "left her mark of beauty on a tragic land." In what ways has she influenced Africa? How has Africa changed her?

Land of A Thousand Hills
by Jane Haddem

  • Publication Date: March 6, 2013
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin Books
  • ISBN-10: 0670887803
  • ISBN-13: 9780670887804